Lively Bamako, the capital of Mali, might not have shops selling the latest iPods. Nonetheless, its streets spill over with a steady stream of tunes on tap, played by some of West Africa's greatest musicians. Like Havana, this city of 1 million lives for music. By day, battered taxis blare out foot-stomping beats, while old men cross roads with radios glued to their ears. By night, Bamako is a riot of noise as singers ululate at wedding parties and the city's many music venues crank up the bass.
The comparison to Havana is more than skin...
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